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Fourth echelon

South Korea declares 'de facto end' to Mers virus

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South Korea's Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn has declared a "de facto end" to the outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Virus (Mers).

Mr Hwang said that as there had been no new infections for 23 days, the public could be "can now be free from worry".

He also apologised for the government's much-criticised response to the virus, which has killed 36 people in South Korea, Yonhap news agency reports.

But the WHO said it was not yet declaring Mers officially over.

A spokeswoman in Manila said the WHO required 28 days without a new infection to make the announcement - twice the incubation period of the virus. The last case was confirmed in South Korea on 4 July.



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